14.3 C
Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Campaign to reopen Murwillumbah birthing unit

Latest News

Head-on crash car traveling in wrong direction

Police say that two men are in hospital after an accident on the M1 overnight, when emergency services responded to reports of a crash involving two cars near Clothiers Creek

Other News

Hippie fools

Edward Kent, Suffolk Park So, have the ‘hippie’ hipsters of Byron Bay figured out how the new global establishment party at...

Byron Shire celebrates seniors during festival week

An action-packed program has been planned for the 2021 Byron Shire Seniors Festival with drumming, dancing, walking, yoga and laughing on the program.

Report and recommendations – First Nations people in custody

High, but not high enough, on the country's human rights agenda is the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Local start-up brings you breakfast in bed

Breakfast is now a whole lot more luxurious with the recent launch of Le Petit Brekkie in the Byron Shire. Changing how we enjoy breakfast, Emma and Kevin, the team behind the business, curate fresh, locally sourced breakfast boxes to be delivered directly to their clients’ doors. With the tagline ‘breakfast in bed, delivered’, Le Petit Brekkie hopes to make the indulgence of a lazy lie-in even more tempting.

Poetic plea from Gaza

Gareth W R Smith, Palestine Liberation Centre – Byron Bay This heart cry from Gaza, written by Gazan poet and...

$1500 council fee rebates for farmers

NSW Farmers commends the NSW Government on its delivery of a rebate scheme for NSW and local government fees and charges, following its $500 million commitment in the State Budget last year.

North coast Greens spokesperson Dawn Walker. Photo supplied
‘Hardship’: North coast Greens spokesperson Dawn Walker. Photo supplied

A community campaign has been launched to reopen the birthing unit at Murwillumbah hospital, which closed on Friday after a support doctor could not be found for the service.

An online petition has been set up and a rally organised outside the hospital this coming Wednesday.

Greens north coast spokesperson Dawn Walker has joined the chorus of community members and politicians calling on the state government to step in and stop the Northern NSW Local Health district from closing the service.

Ms Walker has challenged local National Party MP’s Thomas George and Geoff Provest to reverse the decision.

Closure of the unit would mean hardship for local women, Ms Walker said with the unit providing ‘a first rate maternity service for the region.’

‘Many mothers have contacted me distressed about the closure. One mother had all three of her children at the Murwillumbah Maternity and Birthing Unit and only just made it to the hospital in time for the birth of her babies. She said she would never have made the 30-kilometre drive to Tweed Hospital in time.

‘Small rural maternity units are vital services for local regional women and should be supported not closed. It is just plain wrong to cut costs by closing this service and putting mothers and babies at risk.

‘The closure is being blamed on the retirement of local birthing specialists at the end of May, with claims of difficulty attracting replacement medical professionals to the town. However, the Northern NSW Local Health District has now initiated a review of the entire Maternity and Birthing Unit, which is an ominous sign for the long-term viability of the service.

‘I’m disappointed that less than two months after the state election the Nationals are slashing services to our mums and babies – could you get a more vulnerable target for their cost cutting measures. Regional communities like Murwillumbah and surrounding areas, deserve better.’

Lismore MP Thomas George told local media he was ‘disappointed’ at the closure of the service but said the decision had been taken ‘for the safety of mothers’.

He told APN Media he hoped ‘a suitable specialist is appointed at Murwillumbah Hospital soon.’

Rally Wednesday

Meanwhile a community campaign to prevent the closure of unit has been launched, including a rally outside the hospital on Wednesday (May 3) at 10am.

Ms Walker said she will be attending the rally on Wednesday ‘to support these mothers and their babies and asking for this vital service to be reopened.’

Concerned members of the public can also sign an online petition at:


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Thomas George’s 2008 observations made from opposition need to be revisited. 2008 Thomas George said on hospital closures…. “Services are cut back so people go to other areas. Statistics are then used to wind back the hospital,” Mr George said…

    It is his disgraceful government today that is orchestrating this very same manipulated closure of the birthing unit. Resign Mr George !

    source: http://www.thomasgeorge.com.au/display_content.php?id=1746


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Housing crisis and Council

Avital Sheffer, Mullumbimby Population growth in this Shire is inevitable like it or not. Those who are being pushed out by the unfolding housing tragedy are...

Flawed plan

Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the ever-increasing housing shortage crisis in...

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable housing’ in Byron Shire but...

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon by my own choice. Working with...